Lawyer: Zimmerman Raised More Than $200,000 After Killing Trayvon—The New American Way?


Accused killer George Zimmerman first prompted a national debate on self-defense laws, and now he may be dragging the nation into a new debate involving questionable judgment: he has raised more than $200,000 on a website he created after he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The website has since been shut down, but Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, announced on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 last night that the site drew more than $200,000 in donations in the short time it was up a couple weeks ago. On the site, Zimmerman said its purpose was to raise money for “living expenses” because of his “forced inability to maintain employment.” At the time I wrote that the whole endeavor was more than a bit creepy, since the man is in effect making money from the fact that he killed an unarmed 17-year-old black boy. “I’m not saying that Zimmerman is making a special appeal to the racists of the world—but he’s surely not going to return any money that comes through Paypal sheathed in a white hood,” I said in the post, “A Strange Twist On a Tragic Case: George Zimmerman Launches A Website To Make Money.

So now it has come to fruition: the site actually capitalized on the existence of sympathy or, worse, admiration for a man accused of second-degree murder. Zimmerman was released last week after he paid 10 percent of his $150,000 bail. O’Mara said on CNN that Zimmerman’s bail might have been higher if the judge knew he had raised $200,000 from a sympathetic public. (But then the attorney said he would probably start a new defense fund for Zimmerman himself—though it feels a different kind of creepy when a lawyer forms the fund to pay for his own fees.)

I’m not being entirely cynical here by suggesting that Zimmerman might have created a new paradigm for skinheads and hood-wearers to profit from the next hate crime they commit. Shoot a black kid, beat the crap out of a gay man, stomp a Jew—and then announce that your site is open for donations and watch the cash start pouring in.

Zimmerman got more than $200,000 of cold hard cash for gunning down an innocent boy, effectively profiting from murder and hate. Is that the new American way?


1. A Strange Twist on a Tragic Case: George Zimmerman Launches a Website to Make Money
2.Teenager Killed in Florida by Neighborhood Watch Brings Terror To My Heart
3. Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Black Friends & White Privilege
4. Black Boy Swagger, Black Mom Fear

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. Actually he profited from “defending himself”, not murder like the author suggests because there is something in this country like the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

    • Thank you ever so much, Darek, for your illuminating comment, but he was proven guilty when he shot an unarmed child.

  2. An excellent piece and a needed reminder of how much more work is needed in this country.

  3. I’m pretty sure that’s the old American way – the majority profiting from the oppression and slaughter of a minority. Purveyors of hate have always been able to cloak themselves in legality. We’ve come so far in this country, but still have such a long way to go.

  4. Someone just said for defending himself. Ha Ha, well he should have thought about that before he became a neighborhood stalker with a gun and disobeying an order to cease his movement. He chose to do what he did and if Trayvon did fight back he had every right to protect his person as he did not have a gun to shoot back. The America way is rekindling old flames but the Jim Crow way will not play out like it use to.

  5. 911 said to Mr.Zimmerman to stay in his car.
    Mr.Zimmerman had a gun and wanted truble.
    Mr.Zimmerman should not be raising money
    and is lawer stop raising money for him too.
    Hello people stop sending him and his lawer money.
    Mr.Zimmerman took a gun and shot a high school boy
    that was going home to his dad’s.
    wake up people Mr.Zimmerman is big !
    He is bigger than Trayvon was, He did not need a gun to beat him up.

    Lil Joe

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